Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘cord cutting

Breaking Bad Habits

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I recently gave up my HBO habit.

I was tired of paying the premium through my AT&T U-Verse subscription, and I’d been putting off for far too long giving some money to The New York Times digital edition, content from which I consume daily.

So far, it’s been a mostly fair trade.

Though I’m going to miss shows like “Game of Thrones” and “The Newsroom” and “True Blood,” as well as Bill Maher (especially during the political season), I figured being able to get all of the Times’ content on any of my digital devices (and I have many!) at any time was easy math: The digital paywall became more forbidding than the bundle became enticing.

No sooner do I make this move, than I read in Variety this morning that HBO is going to give the Nordic countries the opportunity to cut the chord by allowing folks to subscribe to HBO without having to have an HBO pay-TV subscription.

The Variety story dug deeper into the Nordic permafrost, indicating this was a competitive matching move, an announcement short on the heels of Netflix announcing its move into Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.

I laugh at this — I don’t live in a Nordic country, what good does this do me??!!

I did visit Stockholm once — could that qualify me for a subscription???

It’s no wonder more and more people are cutting the cord on cable TV.

Cable has a business model for offering content that is completely antiquated, and entirely out of line with the direction of more a la carte offerings in a digital world.

I only cut a small piece of the cord…this time around…but unless I’m giving more choices and flexibility in content soon, as opposed to their traditional bundling…well, HBO isn’t the only habit I can break.

Written by turbotodd

August 31, 2012 at 2:18 pm

57 Channels And Nothin’ On

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According to a New York Times article published over the weekend, entitled “The Sofa Wars: In the Living Room, Hooked on Pay TV,” the writers Matt Richtel and Brian Stelter paint a pretty grim picture of cord cutting.

That is, the practice of abandoning your pay TV subscription (DirectTV, Time Warner, etc.), and going direct to the Interwebs to consume your filmed and musical entertainment content.

I’ve never been so bold as to cut the cord myself, and I’m probably what many would consider to be a prime early adopter.  But once burned, twice shy.

I tried the Apple TV and bought the thing before I hardly knew if I needed it.  And as it turns out, I didn’t.  At least, not much.

I also tried out Boxee, the swift open source-ish portal into all things online entertainment, even letting it ride atop the Apple TV (oops, I guess my warranty is voided now that I’ve publicly admitted that!).

And most recently, I bought a Nintendo Wii (allegedly to let me use the Wii Fit and exercise inside during this Texas heatwave where the temps are running around 106F).

Of all three, I’m most impressed so far with the Nintendo Wii and it’s access to Netflix.  It brings the big screen and the interactive on demand experience in true HD quality and and is very easy to use.

Here’s the use case…and I know, this is going to be a shocker to Hollywood and all those trying to figure out what to do in this realm, because it absolutely borders on Mars rocket science…I want to watch a…gasp….TV program or movie!

I know, it’s shocking.  I’m sure you figured I wanted to interact with all the characters, and have chats with all the stars, and enter the contest so I can spend a weekend locked up with the cast of “Jersey Shore” at their beach house.

But sorry, it’s none of the above.  I just want to watch stuff.  On demand. When I want to watch.

Lots of stuff.  With lots of stuff to choose from.  That’s probably the most important characteristic.  That and being easy to use.

Well, Netflix, in my case via the Wii and a Netflix Wii DVD, allows me to do just that.

This weekend, I got seriously caught up on the first season of “The Tudors,” and also watched this really sexy movie from Chile.  My “Instant Queue” for Netflix is about to see some major long tail action.

Sure, I coulda watched my movies on any number of computers (or my iPad).  But I didn’t buy that 55-inch Sony five years ago just to have it collect dust.

As for the steep cable bill, so long as the content continues to be above par in value on HBO, I’ll probably continue to pay the premium, AND the $10/month to Netflix.

But I just stare at my Time Warner programming guide in amazement sometimes wondering why the depth of their own on-demand library is so pathetically shallow.  At some point, I suspect I’ll be giving more of my money to Netflix and less of it to Time Warner.

I don’t care who I give it to — I just want whomever it is to respect my time, make content that’s convenient and easy to watch (including stop, replay, pause, etc.) — and not force me into a second mortgage to be able to do so.

Written by turbotodd

August 23, 2010 at 4:22 pm

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